|This might be Classic Cuts, it might not|
Emerging onto street level I suggested to Mr. Wesley that we ask a nearby policeman if he knew the way as I could not contemplate him walking one step more than required. It is testimony to his agony that he did, because being a man he would NEVER normally ask for directions. A little while later we hobbled in bearing our fabrics that Tian straight away deemed "beautiful" and in so doing, put us at better ease. She asked when we needed finished garments and I tensed myself for a brittle laugh and the door but instead she calmly pronounced it possible and did we want pockets slanted or straight? As a result, this capable and skillful operation takes on work for many top drawer clients but I should perhaps consult before I rattle off names. She thanked us warmly for our business and hoped she could pass screen printing clients our way - for there will be two tiers of the company now: the daily bread of the screen printing and the jam of the fashion collection. Back above ground we looked at each other in some sort of amazement. Truly it felt as if Heaven had opened and a facilitating goddess had come down on a cloud.
Revitalized, if not quite skipping, we followed Tian's advice to go to the Button Queen on Marylebone Lane- http://www.thebuttonqueen.co.uk/ There we consulted with Martyn, son of Toni, the lady who created this rightly celebrated specialist spot, and who, we learn sadly, only recently passed away. Her memorial service was last month and we salute a great character of South London. Do click on their website to read her story, it will reward you. Our efforts, meanwhile, were rewarded with a set of blue mother of pearl for our pinstripe. From one angle they look quite board-room conventional but hit by a glitter ball's beam they go all dance floor groovy. Style mags are always wittering on about ladies' outfits carrying them from office to after-hours cocktails and I think we can provide that duality for the gentlemen.
|The Earl of Bedlam with purveyor of finest buttons, Martyn, |
scion of The Button Queen
|The Earl of Bedlam and Mr Jeremy Clarkson, Fashion Anti-Hero Supreme|
|Cleaning up the cave|
|Shifting furniture and fortune - the white stuff you can see on the shelves is dust an inch thick|
|My family history as told by buttons|
|I twisted one set on to an old hair pin and wondered which of my grandma's had used it to pin her hair and whose lingerie required the little blue buttons on the card|
|I like the one at the centre, bottom, that looks like a Licorice Allsort|
|Four-leaf clover suede leather buttons, the key to the door to Happiness and a little brass book stamped "The Royal Family". The metal pages once held photographs, now all gone but for one that looks like Queen Alexandra|
As things start to roll and the days tick off towards our trip to NYC to see Mr Bell at Barneys the Bedlamites are on round-the-clock stand-by. Saturday saw an all-nighter at our place as André booted up the new i-Mac and prepared the graphics for the screenprinting; Marika sewed the sweats at the smoking machine and her sister Lesley put the finishing touches to the knitwear. We hope to reward their time and talent with more than a Chinese take-away (oh! Happy New Year to our local - "If you need any help we have good contacts at Hong Kong factories!") and some plonk.
|The Earl and his Bedlamites|
|Marika and Lesley, camera shy but talent bold|